Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Egyptian Moment

One of my colleagues from the Mercy's "Dallas" implementation team whimsically wondered if I wasn't re-living my past basketball coaching career through Challenge Based Learning.  This is in fact more valid than she could have realized.  When I mentor students (or teachers) with CBL, I focus on providing  providing energy and motivation.  And as the process moves along, knowing when to give a metaphorical pat on the back (or kick in the pants) is helpful

Before I launch a challenge,  I look for a theme to use as motivation, much like a coach looks for angles to get a team "up" for an opponent.  This week I am launching a challenge in my American Government class:

Convince Teenagers to Care about Politics

The kids don't know what their challenge is yet, but I've been telling them that it will be important and fun.  Then out of the blue, on Friday, I brought up the people's revolution in Egypt.  I was pleased to find that with a little prodding the students were able to sketch out the details.  I mentioned the regions' strategic importance to Americans.  I also pointed out how the situation reeked of our recent studies about natural rights, legitimacy, freedom, and order.  We agreed that most teens probably did not see a stake in knowledge about such matters  They were surprised to learn that young voters were notoriously disinclined to vote.  I told them that they had a chance to change that. 

A good pep talk does not guarantee victory.  But it sure doesn't hurt.
Creative Commons Photo from wikistrat.com

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